trip report – climbing Mt. Adams, Washington 2008

A die hard hiker, I consider mountaineering the pursuit of egotistic masochists. While climbers are suffering in their tents at base camp, hikers are enjoying every minute of their adventure far below.

So it was with some reluctance that I signed on with my Adventure Racing Team (The FARTs) on a volcano climb. My only previous experience in the Pacific Northwest was an unsuccessful attempt to scramble Mount St. Helens some 10yrs ago.

FARTs climb Mt. Adams, Washington

Our trip report was inked by Chief FART Evangelist Dave Adlard … who had not carried a backpack nor slept on the ground in many years:

Lisa, Morgen, Rick, Matt and Dave set out for Mt. Adams, which at 12, 272 feet, is the second highest peak in the Cascades, just behind Rainier. …

… Mt. Adams is notoriously windy and cold, but we lucked out with high temps, and essentially no wind on Saturday, and as we went to bed, the full moon was coming up — to quote Matt, it was an epic evening! …

just after 5:00 am, we headed toward the summit, some 3000 feet and 2 miles up. …

FARTs climb Mt. Adams, Washington

… Overall, it was a great weekend, and we learned a TON! We hope to join the Mountaineers ourselves and take several of the classes, so that we can attack Rainier and some of the other peaks next season. It is an addictive hobby, as there is something really special about reaching the top, with the great efforts required. It was also a heckuva workout! …

Dave Adlard – Funtastics Adventure Racing Team – — and so they pressed on

FARTs climb Mt. Adams, Washington

Dave’s right. It was a fantastic weekend. And I’m tempted to do more peaks. Especially Rainier.

Or … hopefully the urge will subside. And I’ll hike the Wonderland Trail around Rainier, instead. (I assume there must be a mountain called Rainiest, as well.)

And my favourite of Dave’s photos. A basecamp tent shot with rockwall behind.

FARTs climb Mt. Adams, Washington

The highlight of the trip for me was sledding down the mountain on our butts!

FARTs climb Mt. Adams, Washington

FARTs climb Mt. Adams, Washington

FARTs climb Mt. Adams, Washington

MORE photos.

climbing Mt. Adams this weekend

Looks pretty easy …

larger original – flickr

Right? You think?

larger original – flickr

… the second-highest mountain in the state of Washington, USA. Adams is a member of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, one of the arc’s largest volcanoes and is located in a remote wilderness approximately 31 miles (50 km) east of Mount St. Helens. …


I assume my group is climbing to bring attention to “Global Warming”. Perhaps you haven’t heard of it.

There’s no way we would go way up there for FUN.

the top of Angel Falls, Venezuela

I’d love to get to the top of the world’s highest waterfall.

original – flickr – Maurício Marques

Two teams at least have climbed the Rainbow Jambaia route up behind the Falls.

Far easier would be to hike up, rapel down.


more photos of this adventure – flickr – Cathy Beloeil

Cathy did climb nearby Roraima (photos), as well, on that same trip.

Need additional incentive to book a flight to South America? See more wonderful Angel Fall photos on Dark Roasted Blend.

related: Roraima Lost World Trek information page

Return to the Outdoors

Timex is sponsoring a contest where you and I can share our stories about why we love the outdoors.

I like the concept: Return to the Outdoors. It flies in the face of statistics I keep hearing about decreasing numbers in the outdoors.

A couple of celebrities inspire:

Conrad Anker is a world renowned mountaineer, big wall climber, author, and conservationist. He shares a vivid memory of one of his earliest outdoor moments and why he is inspired to help conserve the wild places he loves.

Click PLAY or watch Conrad on YouTube:


Steph Davis is an elite Big Wall climber, author, and conservationalist. She was the first woman to climb the Salathe Wall on El Capitain without equipment. Steph shares a story about one of the wild places she loves.

Click PLAY or watch Steph on YouTube:

Return to the Outdoors – official website

Conservation Alliance – official website

Thanks TIMEX.


(via The Adventure Blog)

Related post: Banff Festival – Where are the Women?

best hikes in Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas

Every time I get to Lost Wages, I spend at least one day at Red Rock. It’s only a few miles from the strip to 197,000 acres of beautiful desert wilderness.

While most outdoors folk go for the bouldering, you can quickly access great hiking, as well.

Branch Whitney posted his favourite hikes there:

Easy Hikes

  • Calico Tank
  • Fern Canyon
  • Las Vegas Overlook
  • Moderate Hikes

  • Juniper Peak
  • Boot Boulder
  • Terrace Canyon
  • Advanced Hikes

  • Bridge Mtn via Ice Box Canyon
  • Mt. Wilson via Cleaver Crack
  • Rainbow Peak without the Ledges
  • It’s Prime Time for Red Rock Canyon! – Hiking Las Vegas blog

    larger original

    That excellent website content is available to members only. But non-members can still read their blog in advance of a trip to Sin City.

    I am hoping to get there in April, myself.

    rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park

    Joshua Tree is NOT most famous for hiking. It’s set-up more so that casual day hikers won’t get lost and die of dehydration.

    Nor is it most famous for Joshua trees.

    JT is most famous for climbing. Photos I took close to Hidden Valley Campground:

    larger version – flickr

    larger version – flickr

    Joshua Tree National Park is one of the most popular rock climbing areas in the world. More than 4,500 established routes offering a wide range of difficulty are concentrated within about 100,000 acres of park land.

    Rock Climbing – National Park Service

    Even for a manic hiker like myself, the most fun I had in the park was scrambling.

    Half Dome in Micronesia

    In the tropical paradise of Pohnpei stands a pretty good clone of Half Dome. Where? The scuba diving mecca of the Federated States of Micronesia. … Sokehs Rock, or Paipalap, juts out and towers over the northern extreme of Sokehs Island. About five hundred feet from base to summit, the massive basalt formation is easily the most impressive natural formation on Pohnpei. Very similar also to Diamondhead.

    … A rope has been strung along the route to the top to provide some support (mostly psychological). Below the sloping backside of the Rock there’s a flat grassy area where you can get some good views of the lagoon through stands of pandanus. Finally, a utility pipe runs all the way to the top to help haul yourself up. The summit, which is larger than it looks from the bottom, is frequently very windy. The rugged surface is composed of coarse, cracked basalt covered in part by low scrubby vegetation and wild pineapple plants. This prominent feature served as a primary location for Japanese defenses on Pohnpei, which included concrete bunkers, twin-barrel guns and 6-inch coastal defense guns.

    Sokehs Rock – Hike Half Dome

    original – Sokehs Rock – Pohnpei – pbase

    (via Two Heel Drive)

    #3 best hiking region in the world is the …


    Spectacular vistas, frequent wildlife encounters, the best wild flowers we’ve ever seen. Hot springs, quaint mountain towns, perhaps the best long distance hikes on the planet.

    There are options to scramble ridges and peaks virtually everywhere.

    “You can’t lose in the Rockies.”

    … so says frequent contributor Rob Glaser who has hiked here all his life.

    rockies.jpgTrails are safe and well managed. The infrastructure excellent. (In fact, it’s hard to imagine there are two regions in the world we rate better.)

    The weather and conditions are variable to say the least, but in many parts of the Rockies Aug-Sept are the best months. A very short window! On the other hand, if you ski or board, you’ll never lack for adventure in the Rocky Mountains.

    More information on our new Rockies information page.

    Our favourite trip in the Canadian Rockies is Sunshine to Assiniboine, our #5 hike in the world.

    Anemones and Assiniboine, Alberta, Canada

    Our Assiniboine Information page.

    Just a short drive away is our favourite trail in the USA Rockies, Glacier North Circle, our #6 hike in the world. One of the best places in the world to see wildlife.

    Our North Circle Information page.

    Leave a comment if you have your own favourite hike in the Rockies.

    More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies

    Where I come from, the guidebook Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, 3rd edition by Alan Kane is essential. Increasingly my hiking friends prefer hard, fun one day adventures over multi-day walk hauling a pack.

    I love this book. And curse it, alternately. Needless to say, route finding on scrambles are not without their challenges. (We’re still arguing about the actual summit of Storm Mountain.)

    I’m happy to announce the sequel, by a new author: Andrew Nagura.

    Looks great. New routes for those of us who like to climb high, but don’t want to gear up for climbing.

    More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies

    More Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies

    scrambling Woodson Mountain, California

    Have you tried the sport of geocaching?

    Here’s a good trip report:

    San Diego rocks!

    Indians called it “Mountain of the Moonlit Rocks”, while early settlers dubbed it “Cobbleback Peak”, both names appropriately describes the rugged, boulder strewn slopes of Woodson Mountain.

    However, this mountain for the past 100 years appeared on maps simply as “Woodson Mountain”, in honor of Dr. Woodson who homesteaded some property nearby over 100 years ago. …

    Hiking Woodson Mountain- The Mountain of the Moonlit Rocks « Our Beautiful World at the Backroads

    cantilevered “potato chip rock” near the summit of Woodson Mountain

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